Seward secures funds for Roxbury tech center
Roxbury — Roxbury Central School will receive a $100,000 state grant to assist with construction of the Numann Technology Center, it has been announced by State Senator James Seward.
The legislative grant secured by Senator Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) is being used to help fund the Numann Technology Center. The new media and technology center, named in honor of 1949 graduate Guy Numann, will contain state-of-the-art technology-based educational tools that will aid students, faculty and the community at-large.
Mr. Numann donated $250,000 to the Greater Roxbury Learning Initiative Corporation (GRLIC) in 2012 to help establish the tech center.
The center will be located in a vacant storage area of the school basement, encompassing approximately 1,200 square feet of space. The facility will have Smart Board technology and a bank of computers and laptops, plus related equipment. The center will be open for community use after school to be staffed by GRLIC volunteers.
“The goal of GRLIC is to showcase cutting-edge technology as it comes out. We are also working on establishing a relationship with local colleges for night classes,” explained RCS Superintendent Tom O’Brien.
The superintendent pointed out that when the project was put out to bid two years ago, renovation figures came back in the $400,000-plus range. The superintendent said that Mr. Numann has contributed an additional $75,000 toward the project and the funding secured by Sen. Seward will bring the total available funds to approximately $390,000, after the architect’s fees are subtracted.
Without tax dollars
Superintendent O’Brien indicated that while the board of education is fully supportive of the tech center, there has always been a consensus that taxpayers should not have the burden of paying for this project.
“The tech center has been on hold due to insufficient funding as the district was willing to host the center if it was not at taxpayer expense. These extra funds enable us to secure a viable bid,” he explained.
Once a bid is accepted for the updated project, the district expects the work to be completed by the end of summer.
The superintendent continued, “We are trying to move the education of our children and larger community forward without directly impacting the property owner, this being done through the establishment of beneficial partnerships.”
He noted that GRLIC has secured an additional $85,000 in grant funds to equip the tech center.
Sen. Seward said he is pleased to be able to provide financial assistance for this initiative.
“This grant, along with the generous gift from Guy Numann and the Greater Roxbury Learning Initiative Corporation (GRLIC), will greatly assist students as they strive to master new technology needed to be college and career ready,” the senator commented.
For public use
“Opening the center to the community will bring added dividends to all. The state grant and other donations also mean the innovative new space comes without any added burden for property taxpayers,” Sen. Seward added.
“Our schools are faced with growing financial demands while, at the same time, student needs are also on the rise,” said Senator Seward. “I am pleased to partner with Roxbury Central School to ensure that our students have the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and thrive when they leave.”
Superintendent O’Brien said, “Our teachers and faculty work extremely hard to educate every student that walks through our doors. It is a mission that we embrace and strive to fulfill in collaboration with our many community partners including Guy Numann and GRLIC. Senator Seward recognizes the challenges we face as a small, rural school district and is working with us to confront and surpass those challenges.”
“Students from rural areas are often left with fewer curriculum opportunities due solely to their school districts’ size. I have fought consistently for fair distribution of state education aid to help guarantee that a New York State education is a New York State education, no matter where the school is located. When gaps still exist, I have advocated for grants like this to help level the playing field,” Seward concluded.